The 17th Edition has still got legs…
Although the 17th Edition of BS 7671 is due to be replaced by the 18th Edition in January 2019, the 17th Edition is relevant today and will still be as relevant long after that date.
The main reason for this is…
Any installation designed before January 2019 would only need to comply with the 17th Edition. Meaning, you could be installing to the 17th Edition well into the 2020s and even beyond.
And for anyone already with the 17th Edition including Amendment 3…
There’s usually an overlap period, as electricians are not expected to drop everything and head for the exam centres on the 1st of January 2019.
Plus, going off experience, the City & Guilds 2382-19? exam won’t be available till well after that date.
Qualified Supervisors, you’d probably be expected to update sometime during 2019 and within 2020 at the latest. The same goes for small business owners and JIB electricians – agency sparks, subcontractors etc. ‘Don’t forget to update your JIB card’.
What I mean is, I’ve recently been going through the draft copy of BS7671 18th Edition and apart from it having around two hundred and fifty more pages (50% bigger). There’s plenty of new regulations, including a whole new part, ‘Part 8 – Energy Efficiency’.
“I won’t bore you with all the details of the new book for now, I’ll save that for a future post.”
This means that they are not just going to have to rewrite the whole exam for the 18th Edition, mainly to include the addition of Part 8, but the whole exam will have to be reconfigured.
This could mean a re-jig of the current exam with fewer questions on say Parts 4 and 5 or even the possibility of additional questions, raising the number of exam questions to above the current sixty.
The 18th Edition exam will be based on a bigger book with more pages to reference than the 17th Edition and in all likelihood, there will be more questions too.
However, there’s usually an update exam which will be opportunity for people who already have the 17th Edition up to Amendment 3 to take a shorter exam that’s just based on the changes introduced to the 18th Edition of BS 7671
In my opinion, passing the 17th and then the passing the 18th Edition update exam will be easier than completing the whole of the 18th Edition exam in one go.
So, the 17th Edition will be relevant well after January 2019, and passing it before then will make it easier to get your 18th Edition when the time comes.